Project Drawdown - Plan to Reverse Global Warming

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256bits
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Summary:

Climate solutions

Main Question or Discussion Point

Usually it is just about the nasty oil, and goodness of electricity.

Of the 100 solutions Project Drawdown has listed, some would not even be considered along with the more commonly known by the public at large

Project Drawdown was founded in 2014 by environmentalist Paul Hawken to measure and model the most substantive solutions to stop global warming, and to communicate those findings to the world.
https://www.drawdown.org/From cultivation of rice ( number one crop of the world ) to peatlands to refrigerants to educating girls and to the grid ( micro and macro ) and much in between( quit a few not unheard of within the technical crowd ) are discussed, as being, in their analysis, the most beneficial.

Any thoughts on their list, or ones to add, delete or other comments welcome.
 

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fresh_42
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I have recently heard that 10,000 years ago when we first started with agriculture on a large scale we managed to avoid a due coldtime. (The smaller population is compensated by a much smaller harvest which made agriculture more extensive and time.) They also said that rice is especially problematic since it presumably releases methane. As proof they mentioned ice kernels. So our influence of climate is not really new. However, we became a lot more people since then, and agriculture turned into intensive and extensive.
 
BillTre
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I looked a few of those.

The peatlands seemed more of a conservation thing than a drawdown (Of atmospheric CO2).
I liked the idea of planting more forests, because I like the idea of harnessing natural processes to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and putting it into vegetation.

Recently, a article in Science (sadly behind a paywall I think) described a how over the past 541 million years (the Phanerozoic eon), the earth's climate was strongly affected by geological processes of mountain building, in warm areas, where chemical weathering of the newly exposed rocks removed carbon from the atmosphere and put it into the oceans as sediment:
The main CO2 sink is chemical weathering and the subsequent transfer of carbon to the ocean, where carbonate sediments lock up CO2 for long periods of time. During arc-continent collisions, rocks from volcanic arcs are accreted to continents.
Taking advantage of this process, by possibly finding ways to accelerate it, appeals to me.

Similarly, but instead using a biological process to move CO2 to the bottom of the ocean might be fruitful. This might be done by chemical seeding (or fertilizing) of particular (appropriate) parts of the oceans. (Algae grow, eventually die and sink to the bottom of the ocean (for potential disposal in subduction zones).)
 
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Any thoughts on their list
The list alone seems to be OK, more or less. There are some 'solutions' there which has no climate impact (not even expected to have any) so they are there only due some other reasons, but that is still fine.

What I find problematic is the wide scope of the list. If done seriously, then this 'project' would be on par with the climate change research in size. Somehow I doubt that they have the money and resources to do anything else than ask some advisors to write about their most favorite topic and manage a reference list. The whole project has the hint of more wishful thinking than actual scientific merit.

I prefer well focused projects striving in a competitive manner to such big umbrellas.
 
256bits
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I have recently heard that 10,000 years ago when we first started with agriculture on a large scale we managed to avoid a due coldtime. (The smaller population is compensated by a much smaller harvest which made agriculture more extensive and time.) They also said that rice is especially problematic since it presumably releases methane. As proof they mentioned ice kernels. So our influence of climate is not really new. However, we became a lot more people since then, and agriculture turned into intensive and extensive.
Yes. A greater population would have a more substantial impact on the environment.
The industrial revolution, with its greater chemical, energy, and raw material wants, being a major setback, in terms of the environment, although we have benefited greatly, not so for some other species.
 
256bits
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The peatlands seemed more of a conservation thing than a drawdown (Of atmospheric CO2).
Lands not quite yet peat, but wet and marshy, are great for some crops, drained.. Problem is, even if the soil is feet thick, the loss of soil, even a few mm per year ends up with no soil after decades - if not conservation of the wetlands, then at least conservation of the farmland would be in order. A problem not just for wetlands.

Geological processes are slow though. Volcanic outcroppings even today are removing CO2 from the atmosphere, but at not a fast enough rate to compensate. Injection into basalt of CO2 is a way of sequestering, as you have mentioned.

I don't think they mentioned the algae thing or other large scale projects.
 
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256bits
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I prefer well focused projects striving in a competitive manner to such big umbrellas.
At the very least they have put ideas into a list, and produced some numbers, numbers which may be conservative or wishful - one would have to look through it all to determine which assumptions are valid, or clash between projects. ( ie if you cover roofs with grass and buy a goat, where do the solar panels go - this not on their list I think ).

As for the girls thing, I wonder why they didn't expand that and cover education for all as a means on how to combat climate change - kids are great at nitpicking parents on what to do, and what not to do at times.

Consultation and advisory I would agree.
 
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one would have to look through it all to determine which assumptions are valid
Yep. Such big umbrellas are hard to validate (due the wide scope), so they are far too vulnerable to my liking: even if the project itself is nice, I would not dare to use anything from them apart from ~ the list itself and the references.
That's it in short.
 
BillTre
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Geological processes are slow though. Volcanic outcroppings even today are removing CO2 from the atmosphere, but at not a fast enough rate to compensate.
It might be speed up-able by increasing the the reactive surface areas of the new rock (perhaps by using explosives or some other means). To me this approach seems a lot simpler than developing some process to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and then putting it somewhere, not in the atmosphere, by human intervention.
 
fresh_42
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If any experience of human influences into natural processes has taught us something, then that we will make it worse. I am convinced that any attempt of geo engineering will result in less time to act. We always ignored some of the possible consequences, and "to ignore" is meant literally: not knew about. And where does any project take the ethical responsibility from to act on behalf of all others?

Those solutions are in my eyes irresponsible, and doomed to fail.
 
BillTre
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If any experience of human influences into natural processes has taught us something, then that we will make it worse. I am convinced that any attempt of geo engineering will result in less time to act. We always ignored some of the possible consequences, and "to ignore" is meant literally: not knew about. And where does any project take the ethical responsibility from to act on behalf of all others?

Those solutions are in my eyes irresponsible, and doomed to fail.
Sounds like you don't want anything active done at all if it doesn't involve ONLY human intervention (which I would not expect to be as fefficient as natural processes).

This is an approach IMHO that is doomed to fail even more.
 
fresh_42
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Sounds like you don't want anything active done at all if it doesn't involve ONLY human intervention (which I would not expect to be as fefficient as natural processes).

This is an approach IMHO that is doomed to fail even more.
Yes, I don't want geo engineering, since I'm convinced it would worsen the situation. So nothing is better than worse. I do want to reduce the emission of glasshouse gases and all activities to cope with the inevitable consequences. But blind actionism cannot be the solution, and blind is the correct adjective here, as I'm convinced that we cannot calculate all implications. It will end up in an "oops" and I'm not sure we can afford an oops. I do not trust us, based on previous experiences. The - in my opinion - stupid trust into technology was exactly what brought us the current situation.
 
BillTre
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Well things are going to get worse fatter and faster.
Slowing the putting of CO2 into the atmosphere is not proceeding very fast as will not be removing any. Positive feedback loops will continue to make things worse, even if Human-ogenic atmospheric CO2 generation is completely stopped.

I also think your pessimism concerning human interventions, although reasonable to some extent, is overblown. There is not much more awareness of these problems and the undesired effects they might have. This can be seen in discussions concerning things like the use genetically modified mosquitoes to intervene int he transmission of deadly diseases (a much more acute and short term effect, which one might expect greater pressure for).

glasshouse
By the way, I like this term. Guessing its a translation of a German term.
 
fresh_42
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By the way, I like this term. Guessing its a translation of a German term.
Sorry, yes. It's actually "Treibhaus" which are made of glass, so glasshouse is used synonymous in case of the actual building. Should have been Greenhouse, shouldn't it?

I have no problem with removing carbon dioxide and methane from the atmosphere, as long as we don't touch the upper layers where ozone and magnetism is too essential for us. But that's where the problem is located. So we will cool the planet and die of skin cancer? I have heard about a solution with sulfur. That would result in acid rain and destroy our crops! What a marvellous idea! Starved, but in the cold!

It are these kind of stupidities which worry me.
 
russ_watters
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I have no problem with removing carbon dioxide and methane from the atmosphere, as long as we don't touch the upper layers where ozone and magnetism is too essential for us. But that's where the problem is located.
Is it? I thought carbon dioxide was if anything more heavily concentrated lower in the atmosphere and more to the point the atmosphere gets thin fast. I thought the problem was in the lower troposphere. Is that not correct?
 
fresh_42
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Is it? I thought carbon dioxide was if anything more heavily concentrated lower in the atmosphere and more to the point the atmosphere gets thin fast. I thought the problem was in the lower troposphere. Is that not correct?
I don't think so. The problem is the reflection of IR, and this is takes place in the upper layers AFAIK. Part of the problem is the duration in which esp. methane remains in the atmosphere. This wouldn't be a problem on ground.
 
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I don't think so. The problem is the reflection of IR, and this is takes place in the upper layers AFAIK. Part of the problem is the duration in which esp. methane remains in the atmosphere. This wouldn't be a problem on ground.
Where in the atmosphere is the CO2 mostly concentrated? Is it in the upper troposphere?
 
fresh_42
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Where in the atmosphere is the CO2 mostly concentrated? Is it in the upper troposphere?
It is a ground problem, i.e. in the first 10 km, but gases can be found surprisingly high:

http://saber.gats-inc.com/news.php (starts at the middle of the page)


Here is a short informative diagram, but I do not know how reliable it is.
emission-layers-co2-cloud-height.gif
 
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256bits
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Where in the atmosphere is the CO2 mostly concentrated? Is it in the upper troposphere?
See this for distribution of CO2 for a year.
Note that CO2 level changes seasonally.
Levels are somewhat constant per altitude, do show a decrease the higher up one goes , but nit as drastic as the seasonal.

As per @ fresh_42 shows, CO2 levels are tabulated for the blob ( altitude range ).
https://667-per-cm.net/2015/08/04/atmospheric-concentration-of-co2-as-a-function-of-altitude/
shows two graphs - seasonal concentration with altitude, and ppmv with altitude
 
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As per @ fresh_42 shows, CO2 levels are tabulated for the blob ( altitude range ).
https://667-per-cm.net/2015/08/04/atmospheric-concentration-of-co2-as-a-function-of-altitude/
shows two graphs - seasonal concentration with altitude, and ppmv with altitude
Thanks for these graphs, interesting! If I read it correctly, around August, the concentration of CO2 is being spread in higher altitudes, reaching stratosphere where it might be mixed with ozone layer. During April, the highest concentrations can be found in lower altitudes (the upper troposphere).
Anyway the increasing trend year-by-year is sadly obvious.
 
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The industrial revolution, with its greater chemical, energy, and raw material wants, being a major setback, in terms of the environment, although we have benefited greatly, not so for some other species.
In my opinion, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
 
256bits
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Thanks for these graphs, interesting! If I read it correctly, around August, the concentration of CO2 is being spread in higher altitudes, reaching stratosphere where it might be mixed with ozone layer. During April, the highest concentrations can be found in lower altitudes (the upper troposphere).
Anyway the increasing trend year-by-year is sadly obvious.
Could be some time lag of vertical mixing.
Complicated business - years of study - I learn something new all the time.
 
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Here is a short informative diagram, but I do not know how reliable it is.
emission-layers-co2-cloud-height-gif.gif
It is not, it is coming from highly political sources, not scientific publications. The author is David Evans and he used Nimbus satellite data to estimate this... while focusing on the tropical values from the data for obvious reasons. Actually it doesn't make any sense outside the tropics.
 
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fresh_42
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It is not, it is coming from highly political sources, not scientific publications. The author is David Evans and he used Nimbus satellite data to estimate this... while focusing on the tropical values from the data for obvious reasons. Actually it doesn't make any sense outside the tropics.
Thank you!

I was suspicious from the first moment, especially as I couldn't really understand the discrepancy to the SABER data, but wasn't sure as the NASA data started at much higher altitudes. I have changed all visual links of this into plain text links such that we do not spread false information by an eye catcher.
 
OmCheeto
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Any thoughts on their list, or ones to add, delete or other comments welcome.
  1. I would have never guessed their #1 ranked item.
  2. I find it somewhat entertaining that they split what would have been #1, having fewer babies, in half.
  3. I couldn't find "borehole thermal" on the list. It's currently my pet favorite.
  4. Just as I was surprised at their #1 ranked item, I find it interesting how far down some other things are on the list. I'm guessing they're working on "global solutions", and I'm being a bit of a snobbish American.

2019.11.27.pf.CO2.png
 

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